Stat of the day: £20,000

The amount passengers on a Comtel Air flight from India had to stump up in order to complete their journey back to the UK.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Here’s one even Michael O’Leary hasn’t tried yet: Austrian airline Comtel Air has come under heavy fire after staff on a flight from Amritsar in India to Birmingham, which had stopped off to refuel in Vienna, had a whip-round, asking passengers to stump up the £20,000 it would cost for their plane to complete the final leg of its journey.

To add awkward insult to injury, they were asked to pay in cash. ‘If we didn’t have the money they were making us go one by one outside in Vienna to get the cash out,’ one disgruntled passenger told Channel 4 news. ‘We’d been stranded for about three or four days.’

Even now, Comtel Air passengers aren’t sure what’s going on. While some are still stranded in Amritsar, police were called to a travel agent in Smethwick yesterday after worried holidaymakers stormed the place trying to find out what was going to happen to their flights. As yet, though, no one seems sure what’s happened to the airline – although a second plane bound for Birmingham has been grounded in India. Doesn’t sound hopeful, does it?

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